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NFL players come to Mendoza program

Peter Durbin | Thursday, April 18, 2013

This weekend, 23 players from the National Football League (NFL) will travel to Notre Dame to participate in the NFL “Investment for Impact” program at the Mendoza College of Business.

Paul Slaggert, director of Non-Degree Programs in the Mendoza College of Business, said players will gain basic business understanding to be able to make smart investments.

“We plan to teach the idea of financial literacy and basic understanding of budget,” Slaggert said.  “Brady talked about the importance of building a successful portfolio being financially literate.”

The program, developed by former Irish football players Brady Quinn and Jeff Faine, will work to prepare current and former NFL players with the ability to make smart investments.

According to an NFL Communications press release, attendees qualify if they demonstrate an interest in business, complete an assigned essay and had NFL playing experience.  Prominent participants include former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch and current Minnesota Viking safety Harrison Smith.
“I’m proud to have had a hand in bringing “Investment for Impact” to my alma mater and assisting in forming a partnership between Notre Dame and the NFL for the continuing education of professional in forming a partnership between Notre Dame and the NFL for the continuing education of professional athletes,” Faine said in the press release.

The program will consist of keynote speakers and panel discussions from academic experts and corporate executives, the release stated.  Former NFL players with successful entrepreneurial backgrounds will also speak, including Warrick Dunn and Rick Mirer.

Slaggert said the program’s location at Notre Dame presents opportunities to leverage unique activities adding a Notre Dame perspective to the program.
 Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend the Notre Dame “Venture Fair” and the McCloskey Business Planning Competition, he said. The Venture Fair will consist of some 45 different booths pitching ideas to successful entrepreneurs and investors.

Slaggert said this business understanding is integral to being a successful entrepreneur.  

“Basic financial understanding is foundational to what one wants to do in order to ask someone to invest in a business,” Slaggert said.  “We want to teach them what it means to be a social entrepreneur.”

Social entrepreneurship includes starting a private foundation or investing in a social enterprise, he said. One presentation will specifically highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Quinn, who studied political science and finance at Notre Dame, said his unique perspective on the event combines firsthand NFL playing experience with a financial background.

“The opportunity to play in the NFL has provided a platform to have in impact on our communities,” Quinn said in the press release.  “It is my hope that through the Notre Dame Entrepreneurial program, attendees may learn how to invest with an impact for the greater good.”

Slaggert said the program’s theme sums up their goals.

“The theme is “Investing for Impact,” [or] how can these players use their wealth in order to make a difference in the world,” Slaggert said.

For participants whose occupation lasts just 3.5 years on average, being financially smart is critical to being secure for life.

Contact Peter Durbin at pdurbin@nd.edu